Saudi Arabia plans to curb inflation and cut back production costs through adoption of a series of measures including reconsidering prices of imported production requirements, promotion of national exports and diversification of economy base, according to a report from the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) said.
The Saudi government also plans to improve the national business environment, encourage local and foreign investments and rationalize time, efforts and costs borne by the private sector in clearing imports and exports, the report, quoted by Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily, said.
It said reduction of costs on outbound national products and imports will have a positive impact on the Saudi economy.
The private sector has meanwhile called for the facilitation of goods clearance measures at all Saudi customs points, extension of working hours and assignment of workers in these points to work on the weekends and official holidays.
They also stressed the need for increased coordination between the parties concerned with goods clearance at customs ports to avoid procedural duplication and taking random samples when checking imported items in addition to the expansion of capacity of customs facilities, the report said.
They further called for radiation detection of the imports and minimizing manual inspection plus the need to have a “white list” of trusted importers where their imports will be subject to virtual detection.
They said the Customs Department has to deepen the culture of the private sector and highlight its role in the enhancement of the customs from the technical and legislative point of view.
The private sector stressed the need to have an activated and stronger partnership with the Customs Department in a matter that will create the required balance between the two parties and to work jointly to achieve paper-free transactions through one window system and electronic exchange of documents and data.
On the other hand, these steps have shown a pressing need coping fully with the Kingdom’s drive to boost its presence in the global economy, said a key member of Riyadh chamber of commerce and industry (RCCI) and head of Foodstuffs Committee.
Mohammed Al-Hamadi also said Saudi membership to the World Trade Organization (WTO) had brought some certain duties and requirements including the removal of obstacles facing the private sector whereby it will positively push the strength of Saudi economy.
Other requirements include activation of partnership between the private sector and the Customs Department aimed to realize the required balance between the two parties in the way to reach the biggest goal represented in preserving the higher business and national interests, he was quoted as saying.
Reproduced with permission from Arab News